Charge d’Affaires ad interim Luis Pablo Ossio Bustillos of the Bolivian Embassy in Seoul speaks during a recent interview at the embassy. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

Bolivia’s chief diplomat in Seoul strives to forge closer bilateral relationship

South Korea and Bolivia are almost antipodal to each other. But the two countries have many things in common, which can lead to a win-win relationship, according to Bolivia’s top diplomat in Seoul.

Charge d’Affaires ad interim Luis Pablo Ossio Bustillos of the Bolivian Embassy in Seoul made the remarks in a recent interview in time with the country’s Independence Day that falls on Aug. 6.

“The Republic of Korea has identified three sectors for its further development in the future. These are semiconductors, electric batteries, and biomedicine. The state of Bolivia owns the largest reserve of lithium,” Bustillos said.

“The government in Bolivia is very strong now and controls the natural resources resulting from creating an opportune moment to talk about doing business in Bolivia, also considering that climate change makes changes more urgent than ever and a new pattern of development will prevail, which should be friendly with nature or what South Korea has denominated as a green economy,”

The diplomat also expressed his interest in the Saemaeul Movement, a political initiative launched in 1970 to modernize the rural South Korean economy.

“At that time, through the Saemaeul Movement, the (Korean) government promoted the mechanization of the farmers. In Bolivia, the poorest people are also the farmers who still use their hands to work the land. Chairman Park offered me to work with the Export-Import Bank of Korea to export small cheap cultivators for the Bolivian farmers,” he said.

“I think this is a great idea, and before leaving this country, I would like to explore further this idea that implies community work as part of the holistic approach to development in harmony with nature.”

Bustillos also invited Koreans to visit the Latin American country after the coronavirus is tamed. He introduced many tourist attractions, including the city of Potosi and Tiwanaku (See the Korea News Plus article on Aug. 5, 2022).